Tuesday, July 28, 2015

#7 Publishing Plan – Ya gotta have a plan! It just doesn’t happen like magic! #USAToday

#7 Publishing plans – need to be decided on – the release date and whether the book will be self-published by someone in the group, say on a multi-venue such as Draft 2 Digital, or will you go with an organizer like Indie Writes who looks after all the formatting and does the publishing for you, and... takes 15% off the top. There’s a lot of work involved in the formatting area so you want to make an informed decision.(Original post on June 18, 2015)

First the release date is important. We found out early on that USA Today sales ranking is counted from the previous Monday to the Sunday. Therefore if you release the book on Tuesday, Amazon will send out all the books from the pre-sale the day before the release day and they will be counted into your sales for that week.

For the NY Times - say your book went on sale Tuesday, April 15th, the first list you could hit would be the one for Sunday, May 4th.   The New York Times counts books sold from Saturday to Saturday as a full week, so that first week is slightly more challenging because you have two fewer days of sales to include.

Now on to whether you release the book on your own or go through an outside company.

I can tell you that I’ve been involved with both types of collections—those with a formal publisher like Indie Writes and those we released on our own. My preference, of course, is to do it without any outside influence. Which means that you get to keep all the money and that is a huge plus.

But it also means that someone in the group has to be responsible for formatting the set. This isn’t as difficult as it seems - as long as each author makes sure that her file is done according to set rules.

With a template system like Pressbook, it’s a matter of copy and pasting which takes time but isn’t too difficult. Some people use Caliber to format to mobi and epubs and others use writing programs that allow you to pull off different formats. There’s many ways but none of them happen without some effort.

Another job that will have to be taken on by one of the girls is the bookkeeping. The royalties have to be made accessible to everyone, which means new accounts must be open for the book and the login and password available to all the authors. It also means that someone has to be in charge of the royalties that get paid into those accounts and divvy it up when the time comes. I know that there are all kinds of tax implications for those of you who live in the US, but because I’m Canadian, I can’t go into these - I just don’t understand them. What I do know is that the girl who did this for the Brides collections placed it with her accountant and we all split his bill.

And then, of course, the book has to be released on all the venues. Setting up the pre-orders and then making sure the final file is there in good time (I’m talking about Amazon) is something that needs to be looked after.

With Summer Fire, our organizer published it through her own company and did all the bookkeeping. For the rest of us, it was simple and went smoothly. We will recover our costs and probably make a few dollars but when you have a 20-way split, don’t expect to make a bundle. It ain’t going to happen unless your collection manages to get into the very high numbers on Amazon - say #1- #100 and... stay there. And that’s one hell of a huge task… or just blasted good luck!

I have been in collections where we did go with Indie Writes. Many busy authors opt for this choice because they like having the one-stop shop. One of the girls took on the responsibility of collecting all our files and making sure they were formatted to his instructions. In the end, it was less work for the group but I think having to rely on an outsider and split the money had disadvantages also.

But then again, I guess nothing is perfect and whatever hitches arise have to be dealt with in the most professional way possible. 

So are you still wanting to set up your own multi-author collection???

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